Students are outward bound after winning bursaries to head to Canada

Tuesday 10 May 2016

We are very proud that two of our year 11 students, Charlie and Antonio have been awarded the opportunity of a lifetime to travel to Canada on an all-expenses-paid bursary from the Stuart Horne Trust this summer. The bursary enables young people from the UK to participate in three-week-long adventure experiences in the Canadian wilderness with Outward Bound Canada.

To win their places Charlie and Antonio were not only competing against other year 11 students from Ark Globe and the wider Ark Schools network but from schools across the world. They had to go through a rigorous application and interview process, including a phone interview to Canada, displaying their motivation, resillience, open-mindedness and physical fitness at each stage,

Charlie will travel to the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia on the East coast of Canada to take part in a kayaking and back country camping expedition. Antonio will go to Comox Valley & Clayoquot Sound, Vancouver Island on the West coast of Canada to take part in a surfing course, day hikes and sea kyaking. The activities they will be taking part in will not only allow them to learn new physical skills but to develop their teambuilding, leadership, communication and conflict resolution skills as well as their emotional care of self and others all of which are key to being successful in all walks of life.

To enhance the experience further both boys will join students from different backgrounds and countries on the trips giving them the opportunity to share their experiences of living and growing up in different environments as well as the ones they will encounter on their expeditions. 

We asked Charlie and Antonio how they were feeling about their trips which you can read below. 

Charlie said: “I found out about the opportunity to take part from my teacher, Ms Swaine. She told me and my mum what an incredible opportunity it was, a real once-in-a-lifetime trip and I just remember being completely amazed by it. The number of students competing for the places meant our odds were about 1 in 50, so having two students go from the same school was amazing – it was like Leicester winning the Premier League. I remember finding out I’d got the place: I was having lunch in the school canteen when I found out and I just froze holding my fork. I was shaking, it was amazing to find out I’d done something that was going to make a really positive impact on my life. I’m looking forward to learning to be more independent. The skills we are going to be learning will be really practical – how to set up a camp and make sure it isn’t invaded by bears, for example. This is going to be the longest I’ve been away from my family, so that’s going to be hard but I think the thought of them back at home will help me through it.”

Antonio said: “We’re going to be learning to survive in the wild for three weeks, which is really exciting. We’ve both picked multi-element experiences, so we’re going to be hiking in the mountains and sailing. It was really exhilarating finding out that I was going on the trip. I was a little bit scared by it, but I knew I had to be 100% certain that I wanted to go – and I am.”

We are sure that both boys will have an incredible time and we look forward to hearing all about their experiences as well as seeing their photos on their return. Keep your eyes on our website, Twitter and Facebook pages for updates.